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Issue Date: August 2013


Erick Trickey

For 25 years, Cleveland housewives tuned into Paige Palmer's show on WEWS-TV5 for advice about fashion, exercise and healthy cooking. An athletic go-getter, Palmer won a "perfect figure" contest in 1942 and started working at WEWS soon after the station's 1947 debut. Weekday mornings, she'd don a leotard and stockings to lead scissor-kicking workouts. Sometimes, as in the show that aired Aug. 3, 1961, her nutrition segments included a guest cook.

Comedian Pat Harrington Jr. was a regular on The Steve Allen Show's "Man on the Street" segment (like in The Onion today, the gag was that Allen always interviewed the same few people). On The Jack Paar Show, Harrington played Guido Panzini, an Italian immigrant and recurring comic character. In Palmer's kitchen, Harrington, inevitably, cooked spaghetti. "The 10-minute segment turned into a fiasco," read the promo copy WEWS sent the Cleveland Press — "not much cooking accomplished, but lots of laughs."

Palmer, who retired from TV in 1973, died in 2009 at age 93. Her fashion and pottery collections are housed at the Kent State University Museum. Harrington won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role as Dwayne Schneider, the friendly building superintendent, on the 1970s sitcom One Day at a Time. Last year, at 83, he reunited with One Day co-star Valerie Bertinelli to play a landlord on Hot in Cleveland.

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